Be GreenER...a few more ideas floating around in my cluttered brain

I recently posted about big ways to go green and told you to stay tuned for more. If you haven't jumped on my GO GREEN GIVEAWAY Bandwagon, there's still time. Giveaway # 2 is in progress, go here to check it out and learn how to enter. Hurry though, because it ends at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 1st!

I've been thinking of other ways to get you to go green. Here they are in no particular order.

1.) First, try cloth napkins at meals. We stopped using paper towels and napkins some time ago. Pier One and Crate & Barrel have nice ones for adults, and for the kids, I did a search on Etsy for something cute & fun. Try these or even these. All I did was go to http://www.etsy.com/ and do a search for "kids cloth napkins." There are TONS to choose from. I just bought these for the girls, as their birthday is approaching and they are addicted to Olivia.

2.) Think about new uses for old things. For example, I save a lot of our old cottage cheese, margarine, and sour cream containers. I run them through the dishwasher. I use them for storing leftovers. I give them to the girls for use in their play kitchen. I use them for organizing small things like paper clips, rubber bands, and even the girls' barrettes. I use them as portable containers for water for the dog when we're at the park or on the go, etc.

3.) Be energy efficient: in the summer, keep your blinds and curtains closed to block out the sun & heat of day, and therefore keep your home cooler without using as much AC. In the winter, do the opposite to help warm your home. Use your ceiling fans to circulate air. Consider lowering your thermostat and piling on some sweaters and an extra blanket in the winter. Turn off the lights & tv when you leave a room. And realize that just because something isn't on doesn't mean you're conserving energy. I regularly unplug things like the toaster oven, the coffee maker, the girls' nightlight, my hair dryer, cell phone charger, etc. If it is plugged in, it is sucking up energy!

4.) Recycle/reuse old gift bags, tissue paper, & bows. Use the Comics to wrap gifts if you must. Or just tie some pretty ribbon around it and call it a day. When you're making purchases, say "No thanks" when the store employee automatically tries to wrap your purchases in tissue paper. And by now you'd better have your own bags to put all your groceries, gifts & goodies into! If not, enter my Go Green Giveaway # 2 here!

5.) Did you know your dryer is more energy efficient when it's already warm from use? In other words, it's better for the planet (and your bills!) if you dry several loads of laundry in a row rather than spreading the love throughout the week.

6.) Wash all of your clothes on cold water. Period. Not only is it better for the environment and your utility bill, but it's better for your clothes---less fading and color loss, less shrinkage!

7.) Opt for environmentally-friendly detergents, soaps, and cleansers. I've mentioned before that I really love Mrs. Meyers products (Geranium scent is my favorite, especially in her soy candles) as well as Method products. Seventh Generation is also good.** Mrs. Meyers is offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders placed on 11/30/09! What a great time to try some out!**

8.) Go to www.catalogchoice.org and register for a FREE account to stop all your junk mail. Then you can enter all the catalogs you don't want to receive (STOP them all, you can shop on-line and save some trees!). It will take a little time to enter everything (enter them as you receive them, that is the best way---it is quickest and easiest when you have the key codes & customer numbers handy on the back of your catalogs) and it will take a few weeks for the catalog companies to get the message and stop sending, but once it stops, WOW! Such a reduction in junk mail!

Now go forth and BE GREEN! Remember: baby steps at first. Do what you can a little bit at a time. If you set out to do it all at once, you're setting yourself up for failure. No one is perfect. Not even me. Hee hee! Everything you manage to do goes a long way, everything counts. Mother Earth will love you for it!


Erin's Go Green Giveaway # 2 begins now!

Good morning, dear readers! Hope you are not wrestling with a turkey hangover. We are having a lovely morning because Daddy doesn't have to go to work today, so it will be a nice family day here.

Anyway, on to the good stuff (and I don't mean leftover pumpkin pie!). But first I must add that if you've previously won a Go Green Giveaway (that would be you, Mary Jane), you can't win another one. I'm so sorry to be a party pooper, but I want to give other peeps a chance to be winners! And of course I want to spread the green around.

Up for grabs today is my very favorite reusable shopping tote. It speaks when you'd rather not. It is great for groceries, trips to Target, or even shopping at the mall. It is large (15" tall x 15 1/2" wide) and reads "Paper or Plastic? NEITHER" and then in smaller print, "I'm using my recycled shopping bag, thank you." It is woven from 95% post-consumer material, and 1% of sales from the bags support global environmental initiatives. And God help me, I still can't remember how to flip my photos the right way and no one has reminded me. Sheesh! (5 extra points for you if you tell me how to do this--email me or leave it in the comments!)

To enter:

1.) follow my blog - 1 entry

2.) follow me on Twitter (@erinlynn76) - 1 entry

3.) Blog about this giveaway with a link to my post - 5 entries

4.) Tweet about this giveaway with a link to my post - 5 entries

5.) Write your own GO GREEN post on your blog, listing all the ways you are environmentally conscious at home. - 5 entries

**You can tweet about this contest once daily, so that is a way to scoop up more entries if you are a Twitter user.**

This giveaway begins NOW and will end promptly at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, December 1st. Thank you so much for entering and for helping me protect our planet! Your support means more than you know!


If you don't already own these, make sure you buy them for yourself before Hanukkah/Christmas/Kwanzaa!

This year, treat yourself to two of my favorite kitchen gadgets, both brought to you by Crate & Barrel.

First, the Rub Away Bar. I love this thing!! I cook with a lot of onions and garlic, and we also try to eat a lot of fish rather than red meat. My pet peeve is that my hands always reek after throwing dinner together! Lemon juice sometimes helps, but it makes my hands dry and if you have a cut, WATCH OUT! This bar sits at my kitchen sink right next to my Mrs. Meyers hand soap. I lather up then grab the bar and rub it around. Does the trick and does it fast! LOVE LOVE LOVE (and no, Crate & Barrel didn't make me post this)!

Second, pie crust protectors. I love to bake all kinds of things, but pies especially. It really gets my goat when the pie itself is perfect, but the crust burns. I used to wrap long skinny pieces of foil around the edges, but they'd fall off in the middle of the process and/or I'd burn myself trying to fix them mid-bake. These stay on and I can throw them right in the dishwasher afterwards. Since I have already baked 3 pies for today, they've basically paid for themselves!

What are the kitchen gadgets you can't live without?

What I'm grateful for this Thanksgiving -- Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop

Our local newspaper asked us a few weeks ago to submit a short letter, in 150 words or less, about what we are thankful for this Thanksgiving. They called me last week to verify authorship, so I got pretty excited, but still wasn't sure it would be published. I woke this morning to find it in the paper. I wanted to do Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop today, but she asks for a poem about what we're grateful for. This isn't a poem, Mama Kat, but I'm going to be ballsy and just submit it anyway! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


My husband and I were desperate to have children, but a medical condition presented a roadblock. After a roller-coaster ride of Clomid, intrauterine insemination and in-vitro fertilization, I was lucky enough to become pregnant. I gave birth to twin girls in 2005 and am so grateful to the doctor who helped us. Without her, there would be no infectious laughter, no one to call me “Mommy” and no mess of Goldfish crumbs in my back seat.
I am grateful to my husband who has been my best friend through everything. There is no greater gift than sharing a Thanksgiving dinner with him and my daughters.
This year I will pause as we begin to heap our plates with mounds of sweet potatoes. I will choke up as I look at my husband and my daughters and think to myself, “I am the luckiest woman in the world.”


My First Go Green Giveway Winner Is......

Drumroll, please......

Mary Jane at Life Interrupted !!!

Thank you everyone for entering & for being so enthusiastic. And if you didn't win, please don't despair. Just stay tuned for the next round!

P.S. I may be calling the Butterball Hotline today, that is, if I'm not at the vet with my dog who ingested some plastic shit yesterday. If you are having turkey terrors, please call 1-800-BUTTERBALL or email talkline@butterball.com

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Post-It Note Tuesday

Wanna play along? Check out Supah Mommy's blog!

If you haven't already, please check out my first Go Green Giveaway, which ends tomorrow!!


Erin's Go Green Giveaway # 1 starts NOW!

I'm back & here's the lowdown. And thank you all for your input!!

Go back to my last post about the giveaway and see which prize(s) you want.

The first Go Green Giveaway begins NOW and the winner will receive the set of three large green produce bags (the ones with the little owl on the corner of each one) and the set of two snack taxis. This is all for Go Green Giveaway # 1.

Here's how to enter:

1.) follow my blog - 1 entry (and yes, you also get one if you already follow me)

2.) follow me on Twitter (@erinlynn76) - 1 entry

3.) Blog about this giveaway with a link to my post on all the goodies - 5 entries (please send me your link!)

4.) Tweet about this giveaway with a link to my post on all the goodies - 5 entries (please send me your link!)

5.) Do your own GREEN blog post and show us what you do to keep our Earth healthy - 5 entries (please send me your link!)

For each entry I receive, I will write your name on a piece of paper and put it in a bowl. So the more entries you have, the better your chances of winning are. The giveaway will end at 7:00 a.m. Wednesday morning and I'll announce the winner sometime that day and hopefully ship your prizes out the day after Thanksgiving. How does this all sound? If something is screwy here, please email me and let me know. This is my first giveaway, so....cut me a little slack!
Let the games begin. Good luck! Thanks for playing!

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